September 25, 2014

My friends dragged me to Ragnar and all I got was a lousy t-shirt.

I'm lying.

I got TWO t-shirts and a belt buckle!

team shirt mirror image on the left, BLING in the center, race shirt on the right 

It is probably the most hideous belt buckle I have ever seen but it's BIG and HEAVY which is what really matters in bling. Well, that and sparkle. Sadly, this baby doesn't sparkle in the least. BUT the best best best part is that it isn't even for the race completed. Apparently the medal supplier missed the medal deadline, so Ragnar Napa Valley (not a trail relay) handed out Trail Relay belt buckles at the finish and will be individually mailing all competitors their official medals. That's one pricey fuck-up.

But I wasn't a competitor. Not in an official sense. I was just a driver. I was lucky to get anything.

Wait. No. I wasn't "just a driver." I was THE Driver.

And I was competitive.

I trained all summer for this thing. All of those camping trips? Thinly-veiled training drives. I am such a fucking sandbagger. Lulling everyone into thinking I was just out for little joyrides...tooling around in a packed van with a bunch of smelly whiners my kids for hours on end almost every weekend going camping. Yep, it was all training for Ragnar Napa Valley.

Logistics, parking, good humor, and snacks. I nailed.

yes, I checked off every leg I drove

Except maybe the part where I lost the keys to the van in Golden Gate Park before the race even started.

I know you're dying to know how this all came to pass.

A couple of local bloggers approached me in the middle of the summer. They wanted to know if I was interested in driving their relay van. They singled me out because they had been eyeing my radical driving skills as evidenced by this post and all of my aforementioned camping trips. They also had met me at least once in person and knew that I probably wouldn't use their own van to abduct them. They promised me a team shirt. I was IN.



I drove Van 1. I really can't say anything about the running parts of this event because, well...you know...I was just sitting on my ass eating popcorn and drinking kombucha the whole time. I've linked the bloggers who were a part of things and you can check out what they have to say about it all.

Amanda
Sabrina
Matt...our assassin. He was mowing down everyone in sight, accounting for probably half of our van's 88 total "roadkills"...and he's married to Amanda.
Rich...Cat's personal Ironman™(note: IM logo check-boxes in above image) best known for uttering, "I could really go for a Coke about now" while in the middle of an 8-mile midnight run. And then finishing the run with the requested In-N-Out Coke in hand, sipping it through a straw.
Cat, our fearless leader

Van 2 had to drive themselves. They also had the hardest legs to run in the hottest part of the day both days AND had the most jacked-up nighttime legs in terms of getting any sleep, so they basically got none. Before the event, I had volunteered to drive both vans...switching off at the major exchanges...if someone could provide a couple of cases of RedBull. Lucky for me, they took a pass on that offer.

Jen
Janet
Jen
BT
Jess

Jim...this guy. Last runner. He was a total "sleeper," laying low all through the race until that final leg. Then, OMG! He left it all out there. The hilarity of the last 50m of his run defies description. But he KILLED it.


My personal low point: right after we gave Rich his Coke, I started to feel my 5 a.m. wake-up call. It was after midnight and Cat still had to run 6 miles before we could drive 40 minutes to the major exchange in Sonoma where we'd be spending the night. I didn't want to ingest any stimulants because I really really really wanted to be able to sleep once we got to Sonoma. Somehow I persevered. I got some sleep...which involves a funny story that no one would probably find funny...and then treated myself with a triple espresso when it was time to get going. Yay, Coffee!

It was an amazing time and I'm finding myself struggling to find words for it. So many inside jokes that no one will ever get but us. I've tried explaining to my kids why I holler, "JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL!" whenever I throw the van into reverse. And why I keep muttering about a gap and mirrors and saying, "Someone should have WARNED me."  And why we called Rich "IronBallz." The list goes on. And they aren't getting any of it :( And you wouldn't either :(

You just need to go do a distance relay to get it. Do one. And if you need a driver...wait, no...THE Driver... you know who to call :)


Some photos for you...recycled from IG because I've been informed that's how real bloggers do it.

Typical Parking Lot Scene:

hi! i'm looking for my friends...they said to meet them here.
they told me they'd be the ones driving a white van.
seriously only one percent of the white vans in this parking lot.
it was crazy.

One of the very few group pictures taken
with the requisite Ragnar Arch in the background.
the meeting of the vans at Exchange 6

After getting our free beer and $6 glass of shitty wine for those who are
#GLUTENFREE
I am so pissed that Amanda put her dirty, stinky feet on my TARP.
Some fucking nerve.
(see..that there is an inside joke that you don't get...i'm so sorry)

Ahhhhh, fuck. This write-up could have been so much more. Instead, I'm going to savor my new friendships and hoard the experience like it's a melted-QuestBar-on-kabocha-topped-with-unsweetened-bitter-as-fuck-chocolate-and-nasty-ass-chili-pepper-flakes. ALL MINE!!!!

Suffice it to say, it was a total blast and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Many, many thanks to Team #YTWTIW for including me in the fun!

I LOVE YOU!

Ever drive a bunch of people around just for the fun of it?

Ever run a distance relay?

Are you pretending Kate is talking to you?

12 comments:

  1. HIlarious, as usual! But in all seriousness, how did you feel about not running?

    ~Wendy at Taking the Long Way Home

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    Replies
    1. That's such an awesome question, and I can't believe I forgot to address it! Surprisingly, I only had a few fleeting moments of runvy...at the start line (which was quickly gone when I realized I had lost the fucking keys!) and at the finish (because we all know how amazing it feels to finish a long, hard race!). But I knew I could best help my team by driving, so I endeavored to be the most amazing driver ever. On time to every exchange, upbeat, whatever my runners wanted...I know I'm forgetting something but it rivaled my HTC running-in-the-relay experiences and those were pretty damn special :)

      Delete
  2. I am 8 shades of jealous! I've been dying to do a relay, but haven't ever been able to put a team together or find one to join. It sounds like you were a pretty kick ass driver though! And I'm happy that you got a tee shirt and a buckle. The driver is an important part!

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  3. so much fun to get to meet you! sounds like you were a fun driver and had a great group of people in the van. Lots of memories made on these relays!

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  4. Glad you were able to join us, but I didn't see you enough because you were in the WRONG VAN. We'll have to amend that the next time around.

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  5. Of course you had to do it. A few days away from the kids and family makes a relay with its lack of sleep and smelly bus seem like a holiday at a resort.

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    Replies
    1. #nailedit

      33 hours in a van and no one whined or complained once.

      Delete
  6. I laughed out loud sooooo hard when I read your description about my feet and the tarp. God I wish we were still out there; I had SO MUCH FREAKING FUN with you guys!!!

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  7. Oh how I love you and your driving skills! So happy I got to meet and spend time with you!!! Thanks for driving and being awesome!

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  8. The things one will do for a free tshirt...

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Say it. But if you can't own your shit, don't dump it on me.

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